Tip: Cleaning out your browsing history? Remember to delete the Adobe Flash Player storage

Originally posted: April 24, 2010

Cleaning out your browsing history is very easy nowadays, with all major browsers having an option to delete surfing history, cookies, cache, etc. However, simply using your browser’s built-in browsing history cleaner does not fully clear your browsing history. One thing your browser’s built-in cleaner misses is Adobe Flash Player storage.

Similar to how your browser stores cookies, Adobe Flash Player stores information about a website whenever you visit a website that runs Flash (which is pretty much every other website nowadays). If you want to clean out the “cookies” Flash stores, you need to do it manually. To remove these “Flash cookies” manually, follow these simple steps:

Note that the Settings Manager is the real thing – it is not a screenshot of the Settings Manager.

  • Click the “Delete all sites” button:

  • Click “Confirm” at the warning that pops up:

  • Done.

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21 comments

  1. Brian Kermie

    Hi, I have an AutoHotKey (www.autohotkey.com) on my desktop that opens my prefered browser – Pale Moon (Private Browsing) (http://www.palemoon.org/) which has the add-on Better Privacy enabled. Then, when I close my browser, the AutoHotKey automatically starts Ccleaner – which is enhanced by Ccleaner Enhancer (http://singularlabs.com/software/ccenhancer/). Then It runs ipconfig/flushdns (just to make sure).

    The script I used is:

    RunWait C:\Program Files\Pale Moon\palemoon.exe
    runWait C:\Program Files\CCleaner\CCleaner.exe /AUTO
    runWait ipconfig /flushdns
    MsgBox “Browsing Session is Cleaned.”

  2. TechLogon.com

    Cleaning up flash cookies is now much easier with Adobe’s newest release of Flash Player version 10.3 today!

    The new version allows web browsers to automatically erase flash cookies (local storage objects) the same as all normal cookies when the browser history is deleted.

    Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox already support this change.

  3. ftb2_ss

    @J. L.:
    Thinking about it, that would make sense, since a lot of the videos are Flash and would need to be downloaded to play correctly. I use No Script in Firefox, which asks me if I want to allow the embedded Flash player to run. I keep a LOT of Flash ads out that way, but it is worth having to verify each Flash content I want to see to keep the malicious stuff out.

  4. J. L.

    Okay, about my previous comment. I had problems playing embedded videos from brightcove.com
    Same symptoms with both of my non-IE browsers (I’ve personally disabled IE).
    It was solved by reverting back to the previous setting (enabled for “Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer”)
    Never thought it was necessary, but I guess it is for some sites after all..

  5. J. L.

    Very interesting, I know there’s multiple ways of deleting flash cookies, but this site is still useful for editing your Flash settings.
    For example, I’ve disabled “Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer”. It’s under the folder+globe icon.

  6. MikeR

    @Mike:

    Yup, I wondered about that as well. When CCleaner is opened, it has a couple of menu tabs — Windows, and Applications — and under the latter, I’ve checked all the apps CC has detected on this computer, as well as CC’s multi-media selection of Adobe Flash Player, Media Player Classic and Windows Media Player.

    However. . . The odd thing is that thanks to Ashraf’s usual brilliance – because I wasn’t aware of the Flash Manager facility — when I clicked on that it eventually showed just one website was stored:

    googlemail.

    But I’ve never played any flash files in Googlemail at any time so far as I’m aware.

    Oh: as to your little query. I use CCleaner at the end of every computing day. I also use it after any and every online banking or finance session. Does no harm.

    @ ftb2_ss

    I’m not a gamer so am probably OK with CC in frequent use. However, what you’ve pointed out is a cautionary note lots of folks will surely appreciate. Thanks for that!

  7. ftb2_ss

    BE AWARE that some games keep your progress in the Flash cookie folder, so if you clean it, you will lose your games. Also, some banking sites are using that location to recognize your PC when you log in (after the name/password/secret question), so you don’t have to go thru the email exchange of codes to revalidate your identity.
    You may want to pick which cookies to clean in CCleaner, and add them to your whitelist in Better Privacy.

  8. Giovanni (Unquestionable King of Freebies...loL!!)

    Hey Ashraf,

    I forgot to tell you that the last version of  the free tool mentioned above (FLASH COOKIE REMOVER) has added an interesting new feature enabling you to disable the creation of new FLASH COOKIES. 

    So when you press the “Disable Cookies” button in the program  not only all your Flash cookies will be deleted but the creation of new Flash cookies will be blocked by the program.

    No bad for a free tool, isn’t it?

    In fact, as far as I’m aware, no other FREE app out there currently has this nice feature.

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Secure-cleaning/Flash-Cookie-Remover.shtml

    And if you combine this tool along with  ATF- CLEANER   you shouldn’t  be worried about your browsing history never again, no matter which browser you actually use, even though FIREFOX + the ADDON “BETTER PRIVACY” is definitely the best solution to get rid of flash cookies automatically.

    Hope you may find my tips helpful.

  9. Giovanni

    Hey Ashraf!!

    Why bother cleaning sneaky flash cookies  from your browser manually  if you can do it automatically with  the Firefox Addon “BETTER PRIVACY”??

    https://addons.mozilla.org/it/firefox/addon/6623

    With this great addon you don’t need to delete flash cookies manually as they are  automatically deleted whenever you shut down your browser session…as simple as that!!!

    IE users can use this free tool along with Ccleaner to clean flash cookies from their browser:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Miscellaneous/Flash-Cookie-Cleaner.shtml

    Alternatively you can also use this free app:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Security/Secure-cleaning/Flash-Cookie-Remover.shtml

    Enjoy!

  10. Mike

    And so, what about when using a specialized cleaner like CCleaner:  it has an Adobe Flash option that one can include.  I assume that the option handles this. 

    Interestingly, CCleaner also has options for many other apps.–amazing what gets stored on one’s computer, rom various apps.

    A question for the gurus out there: should cleaning be done routinely? Specifically, if one is using a home computer and you are the only one with access to it, are there benefits (apart from space savings) to complete cleaning such as with CCleaner? Or do the possible detriments outweigh any benefits? (I already am using Norton Internet Security which deletes tracking cookies at least daily in my setup.)

  11. Josh

    I use Flash Cookie Cleaner v1.0. It is a very small stand alone tool that you can use offline, but does not have all the settings that this offers. It only cleans out the flash cookies. Thank you for this lesser known gem.

  12. chuck

    Very cool-Now I know I could bookmark that page and name it,say, “Clear Flash”,but is there a way to add that “cleaner” to my start menu or make a shortcut so I can keep it with my other system utilities?